Islanders Looking Forward To Freight Deliveries Again Today

Empty shelves yesterday as the Co-op awaited supplies

Empty shelves yesterday as the Co-op awaited supplies

Islanders and retailers are looking forward to freight making it through from the mainland this afternoon.

The Gry Maritha has been out of action since it hit Crow Rock on the 30th December, and has been undergoing repairs.

But it’s reported as leaving Penzance this morning at 7am.

Stocks of some produce are running low after days of weather disruption, with shop shelves cleared of most fruit and veg. The Co-op’s Deborah Clark says their latest delivery has been waiting for transfer at the quay on the mainland since yesterday.

Island Butcher Alex Plowman has run out of meat and is focusing solely on bread sales, after a supply of yeast came by air.

Alex says although it’s a fact of island life, he’s only able to open for a few hours each day until his bread sells out.

The Co-op say as soon as they get supplies, their ordering system will monitor stock levels and will recognise what’s needed to replenish the store.

But the islands should be better able to cope with temporary loss of mainland links next winter.

Diana Mompoloki, the Council’s Strategic Investment Manager, says plans for a cold storage and freezer facility, as part of the harbour extension plans, should offer more resilience and a place to store goods for around three days if needed, before dispatch from the quay.

It should hold two to three extra containers of chilled and frozen foods.

The money for the quay has been secured in principle, but there’s still legal work to do.

She says the Council is also trying to improve the resilience of transport links with the work planned at the airport.

Diana feels more emphasis needs to be put on local food production and that’s why the Local Action Group has supported these types of projects, including most recently a plan to breed and process ducks on St Mary’s.

But there needs to be a change in shopping trends, says Diana, and locals should support small traders all year round, not just when the Co-op runs out.

The winter is when we usually face disruption, but one grower isn’t convinced that there’s enough demand to warrant year-round growing.

Local veg farmer Phill Deason has been selling his produce, including sweetcorn and beetroot, to hotels and to the public in the town centre on summer Saturdays.

He’s selling potatoes now, but says there isn’t the take-up from commercial kitchens closed in the winter to sustain a wider year-round range.

23 Responses to Islanders Looking Forward To Freight Deliveries Again Today

  1. Adam Morton January 9, 2014 at 12:03 am

    James Kirk, So you are suggesting that these stores become the COOPs private property? Will that not involve their paying rent &rates on the premises and being responsible for their operation? If so then why are the Council subsidising it? Goods are either in transit and the transport operators concern or delivered and the customer’s, there is no half way house. I would imagine that they are merely meant for an extension to the SSco’s operation as is now, I don’t really care one way or another. I just wish to point out that the great public investment supposedly being undertaken on our behalf, will as usual have virtually no impact on St.Marys life and none on the off islands. I agree with Jann’s comments. As for complaining to the Duchy, don’t worry, they are well aware of my thoughts but it is not their money that is being spent but taxpayers and in most cases with VERY poor value! They propose to spend about four and a half million at the airport? Yet only £800.000 of it is going on an actual necessary aspect ie the runway which will no doubt be completed at a time guaranteed to cause maximum “unavoidable” disruption!

  2. GD January 8, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    I was thinking very simply…..let the sweet shop sell the sweets, the card shops sell cards, the hardware shop sell the cooking utensil. there seems to be too much shelf space in co-op wasted on goods that can and are provided elsewhere. as regards the wholesale property the co-op should have done the decent thing and bought it for stores or investing into a dual shopping experience! They make a fortune out of us here.

  3. James Kirk January 8, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    Sorry Adam, my freezer has meat, milk and bread in it and it doesn’t make a blind bit of difference to me once it’s defrosted. No reason the Coop can’t do the same thing with the storage on the quay.

    Sorry you live on St Martins, that must be hard. If you want to complain to someone then go knock on the Duchy’s door. Not that Chris Gregory has any power whatsoever, he’s just the Sherrif of Nottingham to Charlies King.

  4. mooner January 8, 2014 at 9:29 am

    I have to agree with most of these comments here, Diana, pull your head out of the sand and actually come down the quay on a busy unload to see what happens. Only then can you see how frantic and busy the quay is during these times, and how chilled and frozen goods are dealt with.

    The cold stores are a means to keep goods coming on the sc3 and Gry at an ambient temperature between the time they are unloaded and the point at which they are loaded onto the carriers lorries. It is not going to be used as a permanent base of storage for shops to stock pile into, otherwise they will get full up when the Gry needs to do her next evening unload there will be no where for off island freight to be stored, cue claim forms getting sent out left right and centre for spoilt meat etc…

    Oh and just so you know, these chiller units will be expensive, dented boxes not long after they are installed anyway, have you seen the plans where they will be going? Anyone remember that area where freight used to be kept relatively dry on Gry unloads? Exactly.

    • Jann January 8, 2014 at 9:15 pm visit, watch, understand, LISTEN to people that are dealing with the day to day problems would spoil their self satisfaction of thinking they are improving Scilly.
      The Duchy, Planners, Builders were told the block paving would not stay down….they got washed out the first winter and twice more, we’ve had 14yrs of no big ground seas on high springs till now, and thank god it was a SW wind and not West or worse NW.
      Same with the cargo lean to, regularly smashed in on the east end, they even put a steel RsJ in….still happened.
      The stones for the Bishop were cut there undercover all the roofing (temporary) was taken away because of the sea coming over. Plenty more stores and sheds from the old telephone across to the back wall and outwards all taken away because of continued damaged.
      The sea levels are rising the smart people tell us, the other smart people still making the same mistakes. Apart from off-island goods all St Mary’s should be landed and off the quay.

  5. Adam Morton January 8, 2014 at 8:54 am

    GD, Not being funny but there was a wholesalers down porthmellon but it had to close coz nobody used it,now to be made into what will no doubt eventually become more Council offices!Ther’s no margin in selling fruit veg & bread,more is spoiled than is ever earnt in profit!With the costs involved ,any local production is more a glorified hobby done by those who feel it is the right thing to do rather than for any real gain!

  6. Liz January 8, 2014 at 8:22 am

    I totally agree with GD – BUT – I applaud anyone who can get any kind of response/input from Coop Headquarters to give us an adequately & practically stocked store. I have written numerous emails & letters in recent months to the ‘powers that be’ with not so much as an acknowledgement! They don’t care & we’re stuck with the situation as it is. I would love to be proved wrong.

    • Katie January 8, 2014 at 11:30 am

      Yes I too have emailed Co Op hq on many occaisions and not even had acknowledgement!

  7. GD January 7, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    What is left on the shelves in the co-op……biscuits, cakes, crisps, sweets! Replace that stock with goods that are more important, and allow individual shops to sell sweets etc. We can all do without the preserved cakes and biscuits? let’s give the individual a chance to supply.

    • Ian T. January 8, 2014 at 9:57 am

      ‘Twas ever thus….!

  8. baffled January 7, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    so the freezers and chillers are being built on the quay for the co-op and other shops to over order , ,over fill their own storage and then use these storage units instead ?
    Mmmm…. and theres me thinking they were for the steamship company to keep the chilled and frozen foods food safe and at the correct temperature UNTIL the carriers or launch can deliver it. !
    silly me !

  9. Adam Morton January 7, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    Whilst I agree with the comments about supporting local industry, I cannot see any of the Council infrastructure projects making the slightest difference to cost or reliability which are the main problems facing nearly all industries in Scilly. These cold stores can merely hold freight from the GRY instead of leaving it out on the quay defrosting, otherwise who would be responsible for them health & hygiene wise? It would be an unofficial extension of the COOP etc!
    I am sick and tired of the Council trying to pretend that their existence is beneficial to anyone but themselves! What are they suggesting? That the COOP will order in an extra week’s supply of fruit and veg on the off chance? What are we going to get? The stuff that’s a week old while next week’s matures or that they will always order an extra week’s worth of food just in case it get used?
    What about the extension for the bigger ship we haven’t got and do not intend to get for the diminishing number of people not using it? What an utter farce! Meanwhile the Duchy are merrily extracting harbour dues on a quay paid for with £10m of public money! And no doubt want to do a Padstow look alike complete with fish tanks and a restaurant with unparalleled access to show all us silly people without, how it’s done!

    • Jann January 7, 2014 at 8:25 pm

      True words, but we do not need a bigger ship, we need one run properly for the Islands, by people who live here and understand what’s needed. Not by a mainland “head” office, whose workers just put the answer machine on, finish and go home if its bad weather, because it has no effect on them. Worry about it tomorrow. Or the invisible board and Chairman here?
      Sc 3 was to big everyone said when it arrived? Now they want a bigger one to sit idle half the year rusting away, and not able to get alongside in poor weather.
      Sc 3 could carry 100tons of cargo in the bs put out by the ISSCoLtd at the time, and did. It carried that (and more) in spuds from Scilly each trip plus luggage etc.
      Containerise the cargo (again) and take it to the owners, dry, frozen, chilled, like it used to be. Unload quicker, goods not degrading, clear space on an already “not fit for purpose” quay.
      If the quay was still a working quay instead of a tourist attraction the Gry could have used the middle berth (like it used to), but quay furniture more important.

      The start of the slope Adam was L.A.G. money buying a clock for the Duchy Quay. Maybe it will be used to time parking of boats alongside for charging purposes?

  10. John Allsop January 7, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    Every household should always have a minimum of two weeks of tinned food in an emergency cupboard and milk powder, plus a bread making machine is handy and a stocked freezer is good if there is electric power.

  11. Lindsay Sawyer January 7, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Paul and Liz at Parting Carn have an excellent range of fresh fruit and veg, along with their terrific free range eggs in their farm shop! We shop their every week, all year round. They also deliver our christmas veg order every year, which is always good value!

    You can get lovely local turkeys from Gordon & Merv, lamb from Shirley, and often beef and pork locally too. It keeps the money in the community and tastes good too! We are also looking forward to Chuffer’s ducks!

  12. Peter Corbett January 7, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    The shops only have limited storage space. The goods can be accommodated on the quay ready for collection/delivery once the shelves get depleted.


    • Jann January 7, 2014 at 7:13 pm are missing the point Simples, the shelves are always depleted. Enjoy your Tesco Sainsbury’s Asda Morrison’s Lidi etc etc

  13. Katie January 7, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Well said Diana. People need to support the smaller businesses. The Dairy has supplied milk and bread to its regular customers throughout the holiday period.

  14. Jann January 7, 2014 at 11:09 am

    What possible point is having freezer and chilled rooms at St Mary’s for cargo, the goods are gone to the shops to sell, not sitting on St Mary’s quay. The goods would not be there three hours let alone three days! Its the getting to Scilly you need to improve. What a waste of space and more money! …again.

    • Hecuba Hill January 7, 2014 at 1:57 pm

      Presumably it’s so that the Co-op can order more than their own storage capacity at times of bad weather, and then replenish as and when their own storage becomes available for use again? That’s my guess anyway.

      • Jann January 7, 2014 at 7:07 pm

        …and obvious you do not live here and have ever been here in the winter.

        • Hecuba Hill January 9, 2014 at 10:01 am

          Nope! I live here!

          • Peter Corbett January 9, 2014 at 12:27 pm

            And in case you wondered about me (I was one of the first to comment) no, I don’t live in Scilly now now but I did. I spend six wonderful years there as manager with my wife of the Bell Rock Hotel and know only too well the logistical problems islanders face, not just in the winter, by throughout the year. The freezer storage facility on the quay is a no brainer!

            Peter Corbett